IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

An evolutionary approach to understanding international business activity: The co-evolution of MNEs and the institutional environment

  • John Cantwell

    (Department of Management & Global Business, Rutgers Business School, Rutgers University, Newark, USA)

  • John H Dunning

    (Department of Economics, University of Reading, Reading, UK)

  • Sarianna M Lundan

    (Department of Organization and Strategy, School of Business and Economics, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands)

This paper examines the co-evolution of MNE activities and institutions external and internal to the firm. We develop a theoretical framework for this analysis that draws on the more recent writings of Douglass North on institutions as a response to complex forms of uncertainty associated with the rise in global economic interconnectedness, and of Richard Nelson on the co-evolution of technology and institutions. We link historical changes in the character of MNE activities to changes in the institutional environment, and highlight the scope for firm-level creativity and institutional entrepreneurship that may lead to co-evolution with the environment. We argue that the main drivers for institutional entrepreneurship are now found in the increasing autonomy of MNE subsidiaries. Thus MNE agency derives from more decentralized forms of experimentation in international corporate networks, which competence-creating nodes of new initiatives can co-evolve with local institutions. Unlike most other streams of related literature, our approach connects patterns of institutional change in wider business systems with more micro processes of variety generation and experimentation within and across individual firms. This form of co-evolutionary analysis is increasingly important to understanding the interrelationships between MNE activities and public policy.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.palgrave-journals.com/jibs/journal/v41/n4/pdf/jibs200995a.pdf
File Function: Link to full text PDF
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

File URL: http://www.palgrave-journals.com/jibs/journal/v41/n4/full/jibs200995a.html
File Function: Link to full text HTML
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Palgrave Macmillan in its journal Journal of International Business Studies.

Volume (Year): 41 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (May)
Pages: 567-586

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:pal:jintbs:v:41:y:2010:i:4:p:567-586
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.palgrave-journals.com/

Order Information: Postal: Palgrave Macmillan Journals, Subscription Department, Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 6XS, UK
Web: http://www.palgrave-journals.com/pal/subscribe/index.html Email:


No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pal:jintbs:v:41:y:2010:i:4:p:567-586. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Daniel Foley)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.